Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Home Alone

Tonight is one of those rare occasions when I am home all by myself for dinner.  (Happy dance) I don't have to cook a regular meal and it's quiet.  I usually live under a circus tent with lots of people coming and going, baseball tournaments and practices looming during the week, and I never know how many are going to end up at the dinner table.  Even though the girls have moved out, they drop by on their way to and fro somewhere, with a basket of laundry and a " Hi Mom! what's for dinner?"
I went to the grocery store today and brought home one of these.  For me.
Now I've eaten a lot of artichokes in my day, but this one was a monster. It was huge and I only made one.  For me.  Here is how I do it.  I trim off the pointy ends of the leaves, wash it and simmer in about  4 inches of water, to which I add, garlic, and a splash of olive oil and vinegar.  I don't know why I add the oil and vinegar, except I think it's supposed to make the leaves more tender.  That's how my Mom taught me and you don't mess with the Mom.  No really, it just tastes good so I'm not changing it.  Simmer for about 45 min. This one simmered for 5 hours 'cause it was so big.  Ha ha. Just kidding.

Keep the lid on unless you're taking a picture of a giant vegetable for your blog.
Did you know that almost all artichokes for the U.S. are grown right here in California, and they are a perennial of the Sunflower family? They were brought over by French immigrants, and are one of the oldest foods around.  They are also delicious!  And now the big question.  What do you dip yours in? Mayonnaise or butter?
We all like butter, except for my husband.  We have been married almost 20 years and I still forget to put the mayo on the table for him when I make them.  He needs to come over to the butter camp.  Sooo good!
And now for dessert.........

Eye candy.  More on this next time.  Bon Appetit!


  1. That artichoke looks so good! I mix butter and mayo together heat if for 15 sec in the microwave then dip my 'choke in it. So delicious.
    I made a fritata last night. Everything I know about cooking I learned from my mother. ;)

    Nice job on your square. I love the colors, you are a wizard with a ball of yarn.

  2. I'm firmly in the butter camp when it comes to artichokes. Haven't had one for years - absolutely love them - wonder if I can persuade my kids they're edible?
    Thank you so much for your kind offer re the yarn - I've just managed to find some on ebay, so I'll order it from there to save you having to go out of your way, but that was so kind of you.
    Aren't those African flowers completely addictive? I loved making mine - can't wait to see what you're making with them.
    Absolutely love your header, by the way, it's beautiful
    Emily x

  3. We are a mayo family, all the way, and it has to be Hellmann's or there will be a rebellion. I experimented once with trying a lemon-pepper hollandaise and got a whole tableful of raised eyebrows.

    Here in NY, we have regular sized artichokes, and the ones I saw in CA last week were the size of my own head, my goodness! Artichoke heaven.


You guys are awesome! Thank you for the comments!